The Farmhouse

And the walls came up!


Last weekend we got some great expert help. Michael’s dad came over for a few hours to help us start framing. Daddy Alvin has worked in construction all his life, still remodels a popular department store all across the country. We only have his help until January when he heads back out on the road to North Carolina for a job.

Michael needed a quick refresher and I learned the difference between a corner and a T.  I also learned the difference between box framing and stick framing. I feel so smart now!

Here are my guys box framing the first wall:

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Making sure to frame out the doors and windows:

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Making sure everything is plumb and level and square.

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And the first wall is up!


Now for the second wall:

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And after about 6 hours we managed to get the kids wing completely framed! This is two bedrooms, a bathroom and utility room/pantry. Good job guys!

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It’s so exciting to be able to walk into a room and say OK this can go here and this can go here, gonna need electrical outlet here and there…..Any crazy or clever ideas you wish you had done with electrical plugs and outlets? Let us know in the comment section, we still have time to make sure we get everything done.


Chicken Coop from Recycled Fencing


So back in April I was ready to get back in the chicken business.  I had raised as many as 35 laying hens at one time over the past few years, but due to living in “town” at the time, my chicken dream had to be put on hold.  Moving out to the country we now have the space for lots of things and knowing how easy maintenance chickens are, not to mention the delicious flavor of the fresh eggs, my husband set to work making my wishes come true.

Now in the past I had built a precious little coop, having no knowledge of building anything, a limited college experience of using power tools. In fact my coop was at the beginning of the urban chicken craze and the local womens magazine even featured my coop in an issue!  I tell my husband (I built the coop pre-Michael) that I built it “girl style” – Oh this board is 8ft? Then this wall will be 8ft. It didn’t have a floor, it had a screen door because that was easy to attach hinges too. Nothing fancy. But it WAS turquoise and it DID have a chandelier inside for my chickens.  And it kept the critters out.


Fast forward 4 years later, and my husband knocked my socks off with this adorable little schoolhouse coop, just in time for our chicks to arrive. Now this isn’t the latest picture of it because I decided on the spur of the moment to blog this, but I will get more pictures from the update soon.

This coop was made with almost all recycled materials – old fence posts we had from when we tore down a hot tub fence, old metal roofing we had laying around, old posts from my old coop. We bought a few new 2×4’s, wire and hinges.  That’s about it.

This little cutie has 6 nesting boxes and will easily house 2 turkeys (somehow they still squeeze in) and probably 20 grown hens if we put up more roosting poles.


Well, we raised 30 birds from baby chicks, including 2 turkeys.  My goal was to let them free range once they got several months old, all their feathers and could take care of themselves. We butchered the 3 Cornish Cross hens (that’s a whole nother post).  Between the hawks, the raccoons and one little chicken-killing-chihuahua/shitzu mix puppy we are now down to 4 hens – 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Cuckoo Maran and 1 Rhode Island Red, and 2 turkeys, Beyonce’ and Lolita.

We ordered more of the Cornish Cross chicks in October because they are seriously the most beautiful chicken meat I’ve ever seen.  I found this great hatchery out of Oregon. They really have the best customer service PLUS they sell chicks year round, which my regular hatchery of choice doesn’t. So Jenks has a new customer for life!

We free range and use feed to supplement with no added hormones or antibiotics.  Just good yard bird.  After losing several of those chicks to the aggressive turkey pecking through the kennel at them, we are down to 13.  Michael decided the babies need their own grow out pen and I can home one day to this little Chicken Condo.





In December we will butcher these babies.  I’ll share the info then.

The Farmhouse

Subfloor – Check!

It’s so encouraging when our friends ask us why we haven’t had an update in a long time.  I love that someone is actually reading this blog 🙂 So here is the update.  We had to save a couple of months for the subfloor and by the time we had the money, the rains came and the rains came and the rains came…. So it put off progress. But we finally worked our tushes off in the couple of days we had sunshine and got our subfloor down and protected.

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We used 3/4″ OSB tongue and groove plywood. Covered it with roofing felt paper then covered that with contractors plastic. We will cut the plastic out after we get the roof on.

We have made an executive decision to only finish 3/4 of the house right now. We changed our roofline which makes it possible for us to build one side of the bedrooms and our main living area now – about 1,440 sq ft of the 2,000 plan – and live in that portion while finishing up the other side which includes the master suite and another bedroom.

Here are our plans:


As you look at it – the front doors are at the top of the pic. We will have double french doors at the front of the house. The bedrooms, bathroom and utility room to the left are what we are working on first, as well as the main living area which is an open floor concept.

To give you an idea of how the roof line will make this job easier, here is our inspiration for the outside of the house, just imagine no porch, it’s all enclosed:


So as I said, we got all the plywood subfloor laid…. in about 2-3 hours! I was shocked how fast that went! My sweet husband is a pro at this, I’m just amazed watching him work.  As I’m sure he’s just as amazed watching me fall through beams, misfire nail guns and trip over anything not nailed down, and some things that ARE nailed down.  But he just shakes his head and keeps working.  Sweet man ❤

I thought I would post some of our inspirational pictures that we are taking note of. This house is going to be so unique and “us” but here’s some of our ideas:

This is the main living area and exposed rafters and ceiling we are going for:



This is what we are thinking for cabinets and island look.  Probably fence pickets or pallet wood.


Of course I want these floating shelves that Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper has made me fall in love with.


We are going for a primitive, farmhouse, shabby chic look so of course the nice new stainless steel appliances just wouldn’t look right.  So we found these 1950 stove and refrigerator that we got for a steal! Now use some imagination before you turn your nose up at them:

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We also got this great sink from my dad that has been sitting out in his yard for years:


We are going to have all of them (I haven’t told Michael yet, but WE may be doing this ourselves, I like a challenge) repainted with this color:


So they will look something like this:


I think it is just going to be precious 🙂 I can’t wait!

I know some people think we are crazy. Believe it or not we have been chastised that we are taking too long or that there is no way one man and woman and teenager can pull this off without alot of help from others or hiring help.  And I know several more are thinking it, but are kind enough not to say it out loud to us, but in the words of John Locke from “Lost” – “Don’t tell me what I can’t do……” because we CAN do this and it’s going to be awesome!

Thanks for stopping by….. – Donna & Michael